This is a unique and fascinating visual history of Japanese Buddhist art largely dating from the Edo period (1600–1868) to the present day, through one of the finest collections in the USA. The richly-illustrated text offers a concise introduction to diverse Japanese Buddhist practices and the central role art plays in them. Showcasing over 130 ornate and gold leafed paintings, textiles, ceramics, and sculptures from the Newark Museum’s extensive collection of Japanese Buddhist art, this volume provides access to hitherto unpublished masterpieces. It is divided into five parts: Buddha, Buddhas, and Bodhisattvas; Life and Death; Health and Wealth; Teachers and Students; and Tea Aesthetics and Implements. An essay, by guest author Dr. Ikumi Kaminishi of Tufts University, explores the tradition of illustrated storytelling (etoki) primarily performed by nuns in conjunction with painted narrative scrolls. Kaminishi accomplishes this through a detailed discussion of the Museum’s complete four painting set of the hagiography of Tokuhon (1758–1818) while posing a Buddhist reading of ukiyo the “floating world”.
Director’s Preface by Linda C. Harrison; Acknowledgments by Catherine Evans; Map of Buddhist sites in Japan; Glossary; Timeline; 1. From Nara to Newark: Japanese Collections of The Newark Museum of Art by Katherine Anne Paul; 2. Buddha, Buddhas, and Bodhisattvas ; 3. Life and Death; 4. Health and Wealth; 5. Extending Enlightenment: Japanese Buddhism and Art by Katherine Anne Paul; 6. Teachers and Students; 7. From Ascetic to Saint: The Etoki of Tokuhon’s Monastic Odyssey by Ikumi Kaminishi; 8. Tea Aesthetics and Implements; Recommended Reading; Index